Processes of Legitimation: The University of Phoenix and Its Institutional Environment

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/196111
Title:
Processes of Legitimation: The University of Phoenix and Its Institutional Environment
Author:
Hughes, Martin David
Issue Date:
2006
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Specifically, this dissertation explains the rise of the for-profit university in the United States. Generally, it explains the legitimation of a new (form of) organization in an institutional environment.In this dissertation I demonstrate that organizational legitimation is a process whereby a key audience serving as an institutional gatekeeper cognitively comprehends an applicant as a member of an existing category in the audience's classification system. When this process is problematic or contested, it consists of active negotiations between the audience and the applicant (and sometimes third parties) over how to apply or interpret the rules of classification.Using a case-study framework I selected seven cases from the history of the leading for-profit university, the University of Phoenix. These cases represented episodes of successful legitimation by the three key gatekeeping audiences in the postsecondary education environment. I assembled the documentary record for each of these cases and supplemented them with informant interviews. With this evidence I compiled a narrative for each episode which I then analyzed using comparative and historical methods.I found that audiences' classification systems varied according to their category configurations and their classification rules, and that these variations may affect how legitimation proceeds. I further found that audiences and applicants draw from their own tool kits of unilateral, bilateral, and multilateral strategies. Finally, I found that legitimation may proceed according to one of several different temporal models.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Organizational Legitimation; Institutional Theory; Classification; For-Profit Education
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Sociology; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Committee Chair:
Galaskiewicz, Joseph; Clemens, Elisabeth S.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleProcesses of Legitimation: The University of Phoenix and Its Institutional Environmenten_US
dc.creatorHughes, Martin Daviden_US
dc.contributor.authorHughes, Martin Daviden_US
dc.date.issued2006en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractSpecifically, this dissertation explains the rise of the for-profit university in the United States. Generally, it explains the legitimation of a new (form of) organization in an institutional environment.In this dissertation I demonstrate that organizational legitimation is a process whereby a key audience serving as an institutional gatekeeper cognitively comprehends an applicant as a member of an existing category in the audience's classification system. When this process is problematic or contested, it consists of active negotiations between the audience and the applicant (and sometimes third parties) over how to apply or interpret the rules of classification.Using a case-study framework I selected seven cases from the history of the leading for-profit university, the University of Phoenix. These cases represented episodes of successful legitimation by the three key gatekeeping audiences in the postsecondary education environment. I assembled the documentary record for each of these cases and supplemented them with informant interviews. With this evidence I compiled a narrative for each episode which I then analyzed using comparative and historical methods.I found that audiences' classification systems varied according to their category configurations and their classification rules, and that these variations may affect how legitimation proceeds. I further found that audiences and applicants draw from their own tool kits of unilateral, bilateral, and multilateral strategies. Finally, I found that legitimation may proceed according to one of several different temporal models.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectOrganizational Legitimationen_US
dc.subjectInstitutional Theoryen_US
dc.subjectClassificationen_US
dc.subjectFor-Profit Educationen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSociologyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.chairGalaskiewicz, Josephen_US
dc.contributor.chairClemens, Elisabeth S.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBreiger, Ronalden_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFernandez, Celestinoen_US
dc.identifier.proquest1515en_US
dc.identifier.oclc137355836en_US
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